Are plumbers mighty residential tradespeople?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Terry, May 7, 2021.

  1. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of

    The creator did not make us all the same, and if he did we would not need to rely on
    anyone else or need to associate with others.... Talents vary widely among this gene pool called
    humanity.. I personally think 90% of the people are just lazy, good for nothing slobs that would
    make up any excuse not to cut their own grass....

    The reason they do not like manual labor at any price is
    Its got something to do with getting their hands dirty working., sweating ....its just not sexy..flashey
    not getting to wear a fancy suit every day.......:rolleyes:
    Now if you asked the same person to go down on their girlfreind or boyfreind they would
    probably gladly oblige , no questions asked... even if that person had not bathed in a week......
    so go figure....

    I will probably clear at the minimum 500 today easily... I only have one heater to install
    at this time, but the phone might ring off the wall before I get done typing this reply....
    May is a slow month here and June can be slow too.....

    We are thinking about just leaving town in early june and heading to Moab Utah and seeing the
    canyon land national park this summer...just going to leave my in-law in charge and he can pick
    and choose his own poison while we are gone....
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of

    You almost got yourself into a mess on that antique toilet...
    Lots of very, very old stuff in Seattle to get into trouble with....
    So did you just re-set this thing?? Prices vary across the country
    with NYC probably being the highest in the nation..... I have been
    telling folks its $250 to reset one with all new parts included....
    You are very lucky the flange was still in decent shape
     
  3. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    Terry When people used to say to me "$150 for 15 minutes of work" I would explain there is no such thing as 15 minutes.

    Even if my office was around the corner I had to drive there to find parking, ring the bell look at the task ahead and walk back to my van sip some of the coffee mug in my van and then pick the right equipment needed and fix the problem

    What really used to piss me off was the plumbers who did a free video inspection of the main sewer and snake the lines for under $200

    The Micro Engineeering camera (now My Tanya) cost over $5,000 back in the 1990's and I was charging $350 per half hr for these inspections and did a lot of inspections for other plumbers

    Does any doctor say they will give a free colonoscopy if surgery is needed or do dentists do a free X ray prior to cleaning the teeth?

    Like most profesionals we sell TIME and many people sell themselves short


    The Ram Jet uses air pressure to send a slug of water to hit the staopages and it usually takes between 1-3 shots to clear most stoppages

    When I buy these off E bay usually for $100 or less they pay for themselves the very first time I use it

    I could have easily removed the trap, snaked the line and knowing the traps are brass and the nipple is galvanized I wouls spend an hour or more replacing the nipple, trap, tail piece or do the stoppage ASAP and move on to the next job

    During the late 1980's I bought out a plumbing shop that did strictly jobbing and the better mechanics were able to bill out 12 -14 hours in an 8 hr day

    NYC is very populated and traffic is murder along with parking, so I had 5 trucks on ther road and one van for the east side Manhattan 1 truck on the west side one for Queens and Brooklyn and one for the Bronx

    If a stoppage took 20 minutes toilet stopapge for example and another job is less then 1/2 mile away and I charge traveling time a decent mechanic can do a fixture stoppage in less then 20 minutes and the min service call was based on an hr or any part there of BUT If a job took 1 hr and 20 minutes or so we would bil out 11/2 hrs which a lot of clients appricated .
     
  4. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    I once wrote an article about pricing and how I decided to increase mine

    We did a brand new office building 600 thirrd ave in Manhattan and after the tennants moved in we had a check list to make minor repairs /adjustments

    The building was mostly law firms that rented the offices

    As i worked in each office I asked the hourly rate of each law firm and the low was $100 per hr $8 for FAXING each page and other add ons and they billed by units of 15 minutes for phone consulation

    Another firm was charging $1,200 per hr and did only corportate mergers ,labor laws etc

    Same buildng, same license and yet big difference in pricing

    To me that was a wake up call . Even if I lost 50% of my accounts and only worked 50% less then I would still make the same as those who charge $100 per hr but they work 40+ hours a week

    What happened was when we increased prices we actually picked up more accounts as Nursing homes, condfos etc care more about great service then cheaper prices

    Think about this the min price we chage for a stopapge is $350

    This guy charges $49.95 I wonder how he can afford wear and tear on his equipment and how much can an employee make?

    How does he afford office rent, trucks ,insurance ?


    He like so many others give a low ball price and then "add on" such as each time they run the cable down stream its $49.95 thern up stream another $49.95 and cleaning the house trap another $49.95


    https://a4995.com/
     
  5. Matt Meier

    Matt Meier New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    You are invaluable. I love doing my own work and I like to fix stuff, but sometimes there's no substitute for a pro. I've never been upset that I paid someone to come in and do the work, and I've never looked at an estimate or bill and thought "Jeez...I coulda done that for..." Instead, it's usually "Holy crap, I can't believe that dude managed to get that done. It would have taken me a week, I would have had to knock down two walls, and I would have had to $#!& at the gas station the whole time."

    Many thanks to Terry for the site and the experts who staff this place, because you could be charging us instead.
     
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  6. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    @Sylvan So I looked at the 49.95 drain snaking review, and it does sounds like they tend to upcharge by at least 30-50 bucks, sometimes a lot more. Now I purchased a ryobi drain snake because it just just doesn't pay to spend 300 bucks to clear a drain. A sewer maybe, but a drain it's just too much. But it's probably a loss leader for them to get other work. 50 bucks is better than nothing if you're paying anyway, and maybe you get another job out of it right? Probably doesn't make sense for an established business, but maybe it does for someone new.
     
  7. Michael Young

    Michael Young In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2016
    Location:
    North Carolina


    Terry - of course WE ARE THE MIGHTIEST tradespeople of all.

    I don't care how big or fancy you build it. if you can't shit in it, it's just a storage building

    -Mike "the mighty"
    https://homeservicestriad.com
     
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  8. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York

    A long time ago I was on LI and stopped by a home depot and they were selling 1/2" copper ells for 5 cents each

    A loss leader no doubt so I said I wanted 10,000 ells.

    The sales clerk called the manager over and he asked do you want 10,000 I said uh-huh.

    I said there was no sign with a limit on how many to buy so I want 10,000

    I paid the $500 and paid the sales tax a lot lower than NYC (as usual)

    Best investment I ever made as now they are about $6.00 for 10

    When big-box stores sell at a loss I used to stock up like a Fludimaster 400A as on sale $2.19 I bought 100 of them as that is all they would sell and I did not want to argue

    For $49.95 it is a big loss as any legitimate company does pay matching SS, workman's comp, truck maintenance, cable replacement and a host of turnkey expenses and the cost of fuel has gone up considerably

    I actually recommended $49.65 to a cousin who lives in Wantagh LI and the $49.85 ended up $300+ which is more in line with the work performed
     
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  9. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    60 cent an elbow vs 5 cents, a profit of 12x. Not bad, but I've got you beat. The ryobi drain augur cost only 75 dollars, and I've snaked at easily 10 clogs with it. At 300 bucks a shot that's 40x. And even in NYC, as far a I know, don't need a license to snake a drain. However I don't think I'd go to someone's house and do it for 50 bucks.
     
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  10. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of

    Its always a treat when you find a deal on plumbing parts and fittings...
    The sears hardware stores went out of business here in town and I ended up getting thousands of copper fittings and everything else I could get my hands on.... for pennies on the dollar....
    We filled up 2 box trucks with everything they had on the shelves.....

    It never spoils and
    I will Probably will never use all this junk in my lifetime...
     
    DIYorBust and Sylvan like this.
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